NEW RELEASE | WOODS OF THE WILD
WOODS OF THE WILD is the newest expansion for THE ORCHESTRA. Woodwinds were an obvious direction to go after our past two updates, HORNS OF HELL and STRINGS OF WINTER. Combined with the advanced orchestrator functions of our engine, we’ve created an inspiring update, not just to our flagship orchestra product, but to woodwinds in general.
As is our tradition, we like to release an instrument update alongside each new edition of THE ORCHESTRA. On the one hand, we upgrade the power and complexity of the engine, and on the other, we also expand its library of high-quality recordings and articulations. It stands for a real value addition for those who already own THE ORCHESTRA COMPLETE, and it also allows people who just need one section or another to still be able to witness the power of our renowned ensemble engine.
A WALK IN THE WOODS
With WOODS OF THE WILD, we added a lot of instruments to our palette. We completely re-recorded the woodwinds and added some new mallets and wooden drums to the percussion section. In regards to the woodwinds themselves, we’ve covered the whole traditional section with some great articulations like triple tongue and rips and trills, and also for English horn, piccolo, alto flute, and bass clarinet.
At the heart of it, WOODS OF THE WILD is a 13-piece woodwind ensemble. Instruments include: 1&2 flutes, piccolo flutes, alto flute, 1&2 oboe, English horn, 1&2 clarinet, bass clarinet, 1&2 bassoon, and contrabassoon. The wood-based percussion includes: taikos, tom ensemble, gran cassa, tam tam, snare drum, piatti, suspended cymbals, celesta, crotales, marimbaphone, vibraphone, xylophone, castanets, claves, rods, shaker, sticks, woodblocks, finger cymbals, marktree, tambourine, and triangle.
“The Woodwind Ensemble illuminates a beautiful, mystical, mysterious side of the orchestral timbre,” Tilman Sillescu, Sonuscore’s co-founder and Creative Director, says. “I quickly think of fantasy soundtracks like Harry Potter when I play these timbres in our presets. Though we do have the darker timbres of the woodwinds, with bass clarinet and contrabassoon… Woodwinds have always held a special fascination for me, with their very individual timbres and high emotionality that are extremely helpful for the richness of colors of the orchestral sound. In addition, the individual instruments, used solo, are wonderful as melody carriers.”
WATCH THE TRAILER
THE ENSEMBLE ENGINE
Every instrument was made with an individual nki, but where they really shine is when they’re put together using the Ensemble nki. The Ensemble nki allows five instruments to be played at once. Each instrument can be assigned to an arpeggiator, sequencer, envelope, or played freely.
“There are some composers who are afraid to use woodwinds because it’s not easy to make them sound good,” Tilman says. “That’s why we’ve packed a lot of presets into the Ensemble nki to get you started.”
Being able to easily design instruments weaving in and out of different rhythms, sequences and more creates new and hidden intricacies that you might never have dreamed of. It’s an inspiring tool that really unlocks a whole new world of winds. When setting the instruments to “free”, it allows you to become your own orchestrator. Assign each of the instruments to the low, mid, or high parts and then enjoy the full and complex sound that you’ve created. Or rely on the vast number of presets that we’ve prepared for you.
“The presets are designed with lots of voicings that really make the section shine,” Tilman continues. “Here you just have to play simple chords on the keyboard and our engine will then assign the appropriate single notes to the individual instruments. These voicings are immensely important to get an optimal sound result.”
We’ve been consistent on how we’ve recorded each of the expansions to THE ORCHESTRA, ensuring that they’re all raw and human. They are, in effect, designed to sound like you’re not playing from a pack of pre-recorded samples.
“We put a lot of effort into optimizing the sound on the one hand,” Tilman says, “but on the other hand the sound of woodwinds and mallets blends in very well with the sound of the other sections. This is extremely important: Everything must sound from the same space, otherwise the human ear becomes skeptical.” Indeed, we created it to sound like it was recorded in the same place and time as the other expansion packs.
That’s not to say they don’t sound amazing on their own. We’ve captured a degree of breathiness that makes the library stand out with realism and edge. When combined with the Pure Performance Legato, it sounds truly amazing.
PURE PERFORMANCE LEGATO
One of the more painstaking updates to THE ORCHESTRA COMPLETE 3 was to find out how to handle legatos better. We’ve mentioned it in more detail in our previous blog about the engine, but it bears mentioning how truly stellar it sounds on the woodwind instruments – and why we were really looking to update this aspect for WOODS OF THE WILD.
To put it short, with the new Pure Performance Legato, you now don’t have to bother with keyswitches between legato and staccato. The engine automatically detects which one is suitable for the note that you’re playing and it adapts for you.
We’ve included two samples here to show you how this is reflected in writing a MIDI passage or playing. We think they really speak for themselves.
PURE PERFORMANCE LEGATO - BASSOON
PURE PERFORMANCE LEGATO - OBOE
THE ORCHESTRA COMPLETE 3
Though WOODS OF THE WILD does make for an inspiring stand-alone product, it was really created to be part of the greater THE ORCHESTRA COMPLETE 3 ensemble. The sense of space, sound, and recording technique were all preserved to sound as though part of that seamless whole.
If you’ve enjoyed playing WOODS OF THE WILD, then why not take a look at our other sections?
HORNS OF HELL includes a powerful, 48-piece brass section that also includes organs and percussion. The sounds can get really extreme, especially with our “Evil Brass”. We really tapped into our inner John Philips Sousa for the presets and designed over 40 different war and battle patterns that mix the horns and the included percussion.
With the STRINGS OF WINTER, we were sure to capture the dark, icy solitude that a strings section can inspire. We spread 60 different articulations over 7 different sections to ensure a full, shimmering, ensemble. For this expansion, we also traveled to Mongolia to record the Mongolian State Morin Khuur Ensemble playing their national instrument, the morin khuur, which is a “fiddle” with two strings made of horsehair.
Each of these expansions sounds great alone, but together they form a powerhouse, especially with all the updates THE ORCHESTRA COMPLETE 3 has included in the Engine. We’ve included a lot of voicings that bring them all together and just sound – well, you really have to check it out for yourself.
If you already own one of the expansions and would like to get the WOODS OF THE WILD, then why not consider just getting THE ORCHESTRA COMPLETE 3? We’re offering 130 dollars off for anyone who owns the previous expansions and wants to upgrade to the full version.